US and Europe to Share Private Data

Security efforts to be eased by agreement
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Jun 28, 2008 7:13 AM CDT
EU members meet with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in this photo. Europe and the US have finally agreed on swapping private details to fight terrorism.   (AP Photo/RIA Novosti, Dmitry Astakhov, Presidential Press Service)
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(Newser) – The US and the European Union will soon allow security agencies to swap private information, including credit card purchases, travel histories and web surfing. The potential agreement is a breakthrough in a standoff between American counterterrorism officials and their trans-Atlantic counterparts, whose countries tend to have more stringent privacy laws. Draft language for the agreement has finally been ironed out, after 17 months of haggling.

The parties are still figuring out if European citizens should be allowed to sue the US for how it handles the information. One European parliament member feared "it will serve as a pretext to freely share our personal data with anyone."